Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 Big Apple Releases to Expect in 2012

NEW YORK (InvestorPlace) -- After years of consecutive record-breaking quarters, it seems a bit like pointing at the moon to say that Apple(AAPL) is going to have a successful 2012. Consumer excitement for the company's products remains high. Wall Street remains rapt by the company as well. Despite a few months of wiggling, it's not unrealistic to think AAPL shares could very well hit $500.
Is the company's momentum guaranteed to continue into 2012? After all, 2011 has been a year of refinement rather exciting new goods. The company's most successful products -- like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air laptops -- saw new releases throughout the year, but all were only incremental upgrades over previous products. Even Apple's major software release for the year, the new laptop and desktop operating system Lion, is an iterative product that brings traditional computers closer in line with the company's portables in terms of use.
2012 will not be another year of merely refinement. Much as 2010 was marked by the release of bold new releases -- particularly the original iPad -- next year will see Apple release a number of new devices sure to capture the attention of excited consumers. Here are five big Apple releases to expect in 2012:
Related: iPhone users loyal to AAPL stock

Apple HDTV

Just weeks after former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away, the iconic technologist still was making headlines for a new Apple product. Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs quoted the CEO as saying, "I finally cracked it." The "it" in this case being an Apple high-definition television set connected to the Internet as well as Apple's iTunes, App Store and other digital storefronts. The HDTV will be the centerpiece of Apple's 2012 product lineup. Investors take note: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes this TV business could raise Apple's market cap by $100 billion.

Motion Control

A number of Apple patents for motion-control technology -- you can control what's on the screen by waving your hands in mid-air, as with Microsoft's (MSFT) Kinect device -- have been made public over the past two years, the most recent of which came out Dec. 8 . This release will affect all of Apple's products, from Mac computers to the iPhone. Like the company's voice-control product, Siri , Apple's motion control interface has the potential to take something that already exists in other products and make it immensely popular through Apple branding. Expect motion control to be a key part of the Apple HDTV as well.


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